Tuesday, 26 September 2023

NCAA Womens Volleyball

Non-conference volleyball matchups to watch in 2023

Non-conference volleyball matchups to watch in 2023

The top volleyball teams in the country scheduled tough this year — the 2023 non-conference schedules are absolutely loaded. We are going to see some serious action before conference play begins — and right out of the gates.

I tried to compile just a few top non-conference matchups to watch this season, but excluding any of these would be a disservice. So, I am going to highlight some of the most intriguing matchups, but also list out all of the big ranked showdowns you must see in the first few months of the season.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Opening weekend

You won’t have to wait long. There are multiple big matchups, and ranked matchups to watch opening weekend, but I mostly wanted to point out No. 8 Penn State taking on No. 11 Florida in Tampa — in this year’s championship venue — to kick off the season. It is like all the action is starting right where it will end come December.

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Volleyball Day in Nebraska

Nebraska will host Omaha in Memorial Stadium — an outdoor volleyball matchup that is certain to absolutely obliterate every attendance record to date. The match will be played in Nebraska’s football stadium and has already sold out 90,000-plus tickets. That will be a sight to see and a match you cannot miss early this season.

Stanford’s gauntlet

Stanford always scheduled an incredibly strong non-conference schedule. This year is no outlier. The Cardinal enter the season as the preseason No. 3 team in the nation and are going to be tested right away. But get this — there are only three top-five matchups during the non-conference slate, and Stanford is in all three of them. The No. 3 Cardinal will take on No. 1 Texas, No. 4 Louisville, and No. 5 Nebraska. And that’s not even mentioning the four other ranked matchups they have before conference play begins.

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The remaining top-five teams loaded non-conference slates

It wasn’t just Stanford, either. The Cardinal have the most top-five showdowns, but Texas, Wisconsin and Louisville will play multiple top-15 matchups before entering conference play. Texas will play Minnesota, Stanford and Ohio State. Wisconsin will play Baylor, Marquette and Florida — and if you remember from last year, the Florida matchup set an attendance record at the time and went to five sets. Louisville will play Stanford, Kentucky and Penn State.

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